30 Unique and Exciting Gifts for 1-Year-Old Boys
By one year old a baby boy has already developed so rapidly; changing from a tiny, sleepy newborn into an almost-toddler with the personality to match! In the first year of life physical and cognitive development are more rapid than at any other time.
So, if you’re looking for a gift for a 1-year-old boy, that will continue to support his development, then this list of 30 ideas may be useful. We’ve included toys and gifts that will promote different kinds of development, and will appeal to different little boys’ interests and personalities so you’re sure to find something that will suit the little boy you’re buying for.
Most 1-year-old boys enjoy a walk around the neighborhood in a stroller or carrier, looking around and observing the world and listening to all of the different sounds too. Trikes provide a different way for 1-year-olds to get around and are a popular present for a first birthday.
The Fascol 7 in 1 trike is extremely versatile and adaptable and can be used all the way up until 5 years of age making it a long-lasting gift. In the first stage a toddler can be pushed along by a parent whilst a safety frame holds them in place, but as they get older and gain strength the trike can be adapted so that they can feel the motion of the pedals or start practicing steering. The Fascol 7 in 1 Kids trike eventually converts into a full trike for older children. Trikes are a great way to promote physical development and with a full sunshade, foam grip handles and rear basket this model has all the conveniences of a stroller too.
Activity centers are a great way to encourage 1-year-olds to pull to stand and play standing up, which builds up the strength and stability in their legs. The Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center is a beautifully made and tastefully decorated wooden activity center that is more likely to complement home décor and is also built to last.
There are plenty of moving parts which encourage the child to interact with the toy and improve their fine-motor skills. As there are beads that need to be pushed along looping and curving tracks, children are forced to problem-solve as they decide where to position their hands.
3. Bobby Car
By 1 year of age most children are good at bearing weight on their legs, have the core strength to balance and are well in to the process of learning to walk. Ride on toys help to strengthen leg muscles further as children need to push along their own weight and the weight of the toy. They also need to learn to coordinate their body and limbs in order to do this, which helps with their overall physical development.
The Bobby Car is built to last, with a high weight limit of 110 lbs and built in knee recesses to accommodate older children, so this is a gift that will last well beyond age 1. It also has a small turning circle, so you won’t need much space to have fun with it.
Train tracks are a classic children’s toy and often gifted to one-year-old boys for a good reason; train tracks offer plenty of different learning opportunities. They are also very open-ended, meaning that there is not just one way to play so children can put a track in their own way and experiment with their construction skills and imaginations.
Putting track together requires good fine motor skills and dexterity, and pushing trains along the track promotes physical skills and strengths like squatting, crawling or shuffling and balance. The Brio My First Railways connects with other types of wooden tracks so it can be used in different ways as children get older.
1-year-olds really do love to push, pull and move things around because many of them have a transportation ‘schema’. A ‘schema’ is a repeated action that helps children to learn, and transportation is a very common schema at age 1.
The Green Toys Classic Wagon will support this way of learning as well as improving physical skills and strength. It is made with eco-friendly, non-toxic and robust materials making sure that it is really built to last as well as being sustainable. This make a great gift for a 1-year-old boy who is interested in vehicles and is just learning to walk.
Duplo doesn’t seem to lose its appeal through the ages and is really built to last; many people with grown up children have a box of their child’s Duplo for when other children come to visit. Perhaps because of its open-ended nature, Duplo is a toy that doesn’t seem to ‘date’ easily and holds its appeal through different generations.
The Lego Duplo Classic Deluxe Brick Box is a set of 85 pieces which allows children to design and build their own constructions, though it comes with a few ideas and prompts too. At 1 year old most babies are interested in construction and are beginning to develop the strength and dexterity needed in their hands to use toys like Duplo.
1-year-old boys are extremely sensory creatures who are fascinated with the different properties of materials, and also tend to love any technology they can get their hands on! The Vtech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight is a kid-proof, interactive torch with plenty of buttons made for little hands. As he presses all of the buttons, a 1-year-old will begin to develop their understanding of cause and effect.
The Vtech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight also models speech and language skills which the child can imitate to help with their development.
Children love to splash and play in water and at one-year-old it’s a great sensory learning experience for them too. By playing in water children gain confidence for swimming, practice skills like filling and emptying containers and developing an understanding of quantity.
The Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Bathtub is a child-sized inflatable bathtub which can be easily deflated and stored, making it ideal for travel as well as home use. It includes built-in safety features such as a grippy floor to prevent slips and a color-changing temperature indicator to let you know if the water is too hot.
Swings are a firm childhood favorite even with fairly young children, and 1-year-olds often enjoy playing on the swings at the park. The swinging action activates the vestibular system in children, which helps them to develop balance and coordination, and is also a soothing sensory input helping children to calm down when needed. The motion provided by a swing also promotes the development of a strong core as the child learns to sit up and contend with the varying forces on their body by activating their core muscles.
The Mamoi Baby Swing is an indoor fabric swing that can be hung from structurally sound ceilings so that the baby can enjoy swings, just like at the park, from the comfort of home! This is ideal if you live in an area with adverse weather, or simply can’t get out every day. The Mamoi Baby Swing is made using eco-friendly materials so is kind to the planet and can be used until around 3 years of age meaning that it will last a few years.
By one year old most children are pulling themselves up on furniture to stand and this is a great skill to encourage as it helps them to develop strength and stability in their legs and core, which is important for learning to walk. The Hape Country Critters Play Cube maintains children’s interest with plenty of different moving parts.
The Hape Country Critters Play Cube also develops children’s fine motor skills by requiring them to use their hands and fingers to move and manipulate the moving parts. As it’s wooden with a non-toxic, child-friendly finish the Play Cube is also more likely to fit in to modern, minimalist décor.
1-year-olds generally enjoy books and stories, and any technology they can get hold of. The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Storybook Rhymes incorporates both of these elements to create an interactive storybook toy that will hold a child’s attention, and present them with a variety of different learning opportunities.
The pages of the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Storybook are made of plastic so that little hands can turn them easily, practicing their fine-motor skills without risking paper cuts. There are also a number of buttons that light up and make sounds, and music, teaching counting, numbers, words letter and shapes. This will help to improve a 1-year-olds listening and attention skills as well as increasing their vocabulary.
Remote control toys are popular with children across a span of ages as they learn the basic technology and see the toy move along under their control. One-year-olds will be delighted by the easy to use remote control buttons, and seeing the popular children’s character moving along. This helps to improve their understanding of cause and effect.
The Thomas & Friends My First Remote Control Thomas is best used on hard floors so that it can move along easily, encouraging the 1-year-old to follow improving their strength and physical skills. If the 1-year-old you’re buying for is particularly interested in Thomas the Tank then this could be a really good option.
Building an interest in sports and physical activity early on, the Vtech Smart Shots Sports Center is a combination of a basketball hoop and a football goal, complete with toddler-sized equipment. As toddlers try to score goals and baskets they develop both their physical skills and their hand-eye coordination.
The Vtech Smart Shots Sports Center is great for playing with siblings and parents allowing 1-year-olds to develop basic social skills like playing alongside others and beginning to take turns and share.
With the alphabet features on these Duplo blocks, early exposure to letter shapes and discussion of their sounds will build children’s knowledge of speech and language sounds. At age one most children are interested in pushing and pulling vehicles, and constructing and building towers so the Lego Duplo My First Alphabet Truck makes a great gift for a 1-year-old as it combines Lego Duplo blocks, with a vehicle!
Pushing and pulling toys along and constructing with blocks both enhance children’s physical strength and skill. The blocks from this set can also be combined with any other Lego Duplo sets that the child already has or is given, making play more open-ended.
Many 1-year-old boys enjoy playing with different kinds of vehicles and the Melissa & Doug Race- Car Carrier is a lovely wooden set, perfect for gifting to a little boy who enjoys different kinds of vehicles as it includes 6 different colored racing cars and a double layered car-transporter.
As children, push, pull and operate the cars and transporter they improve their physical strength and skills and this set also allows for the development of early imaginative play. Made from wood, the Melissa & Doug Mega Race-Car Carrier is a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic toys and is robust and built to last.
The EverEarth Work Bench with Tools is a lovely, eco-friendly wooden toy that will encourage role-play as a builder or carpenter as the child pretends to make and fix different things. It also helps to improve fine motor skills with screws, nuts and bolts that can be used with tools and with hands. As children twist the screws into place they build up strength in their fingers and wrists, which, much further down the line, will improve their writing skills.
The EverEarth Work Bench with Tools is suitable for a range of ages as using the tools and accessories is fairly challenging.
1-year-olds love ball pits! They will have hours of fun, jumping, climbing and burying themselves in the pool, and this all promotes the development of their physical skills and strength.
The Selonis Soft Ball Pit Pool is different to the usual brightly-colored, pop-up versions of at-home ball-pits available; its soft fabric sides are safe for small children whilst also being sturdy enough to stand up to the rigors of being climbed and jumped all over. The Ball pit and balls are also tastefully colored to fit in with modern home décor. The covers are removable and washable too meaning that it’s pretty easy to keep the Ball Pit Pool clean.
The Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox is an ideal piece of outdoor play equipment for 1-year-olds. It is perfectly sized to offer a large enough area for lots of sand play which is a wonderful sensory experience for babies and toddlers who learn predominantly through their senses. There are built in seating areas so that the child doesn’t have to sit in the sand itself, though of course they can if they want to!
The Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox is also very safe as it comes with a built-in lid to cover the sand keeping it dry and free from contamination. It also means that sand tools like buckets, spades, rakes and jugs can be stored in the sandpit itself so that they’re ready to use straight away. Filling and emptying containers is a popular type of play for 1-year-olds and this lays down the foundations for early mathematical concepts.
An alternative to getting around in a stroller or carrier, the Step2 Whisper Ride II Ride-On Push Car, is a ride on toy that a parent can push along meaning that it’s still very useful for transportation as well as play! As the child is pushed along, they will increase their balance and core strength as they sit in the seat, and can experiment with technology and cause and effect as they press the horn.
The Step2 Whisper Ride-On Push car features a handle which can be safely folded away making storage much easier, cup holders for baby and parent, a safety strap for the child and smooth, quiet wheels to make strolls around the neighborhood more pleasant.
The Aquadoodle Classic Large Water Doodle Mat is the ideal gift for a 1-year-old boy because it provides mess-free sensory play. Sensory play is very important for young children as they learn best through hands-on experience, however, sensory play can also get very messy, so a lot of parents are reluctant to provide such experiences at home. The Aquadoodle solves this problem, needing only a little water to be put into the pen for hours of drawing fun.
Drawing activates children’s creativity as they explore mark-making, and it also improves their gross motor skills and understanding of cause and effect, all important for writing later down the line. The Aquadoodle can easily be folded for storage too, making it a great gift for any 1-year-old.
Making music is a favorite pastime of many children and 1-year-olds in particular certainly love to experiment with making a noise. The Hape Pound and Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone is a beautiful wooden toy that can be played with in a variety of ways. Children can improve their motor skills by using the hammer to hit the balls, which then fall onto the xylophone, causing the notes to play. This is a novel way to explore cause and effect.
The Hape’s Pound and Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone can also have the Xylophone removed so that it can be played separately, promoting listening skills, musical experimentation and creativity
The Fisher-Price Smart Stages Puppy is a cute, cuddly puppy toy with plenty of interactive buttons. The hands, feet, ears and heart can all be pressed to achieve different effects which will increase children’s understanding of cause, effect and technology.
Educational opportunities are also plentiful as the Smart Stages Puppy teaches words, colors, letter and numbers at the press of its buttons. This also promotes listening and attention skills and speech and language development, and can be tailored to the child’s age and developmental stage. The Smart Stages Puppy has 3 different ‘levels’ of learning that can be selected. This level system means that the Smart Stages Puppy is a toy that will last a 1-year-old boy a good number of years.
Green Toys are synonymous with quality, their toys are favored by nurseries and daycares because they are robust, sturdy and completely non-toxic. Made with recycled plastic they represent an eco-friendlier solution to traditional plastic toys, and contain no BPA, PVC, phthalates or external coatings.
The Green Toys Dump Truck allows children to experiment with and improve their skill at pushing, pulling and directing objects along the floor. Children are also able to fill and empty the dumper as they engage in imaginative play; improving their physical skills and dexterity as they do so.
Pull-along toys are a great choice for a 1-year-old-boy. Around about age 1 children are beginning to really push the boundaries with their physical skills as they master crawling, cruising and soon-enough, walking. Having a toy that can be taken along with them holds lots of appeal for a 1-year-old, enticing and encouraging them to use physical movement skills more.
The Brio Pull-along bumblebee is a lovely wooden toy which creates a buzzing sound as it moves along with no batteries required. This develops children’s understanding of cause and effect as they learn that when they pull the toy, they hear the noise.
1-year-old boys often love both vehicles and technology, making this the ideal gift as it combines the two! The Vtech Turn & Learn Driver is a steering wheel toy with plenty of interactive features and buttons to maintain a child’s interest and develop their understanding of cause, effect and technology.
The Vtech Turn & Learn Driver features plenty of lights, sounds and music to maintain children’s curiosity and develop their speech and language as they imitate the words and sounds heard. There are plenty of learning opportunities too as pressing the buttons helps to teach animal and vehicle names and sounds.
When there’s a toddler in the house, sleep is a highly prized commodity so anything that promotes and improves sleep will be gratefully received! The Gro Company Ollie The Owl Grofriend Light and Sounds Sleep Aid is a soft cuddly toy with built in lights and soothing sounds which help to lull a child to sleep.
Ollie the Owl can be hung on a crib or bed rail, or snuggled with like a teddy and can play 4 soothing sounds for up to 20 minutes at a time. Not only does this help children to sleep through calming their senses but it also increases their sense of security, helping them to fall asleep feeling happy and safe.
The Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker Toddler Toy is a beautiful, wooden toy that is made from child safe materials and is built to last. Many 1-year-olds learn through repeating behavior to solidify their understanding of concepts, this is called a schema and stacking is a popular schema with 1-year-olds which would be supported by this toy.
The brightly-colored pieces can be stacked together in order, increasing children’s perseverance and helping them to gain understanding and recognition of shape, size and color. As they play, 1-year-old will also gain hand-eye coordination and improve their motor skills.
The Battat Pop-Up Pals is a toy with 4 different animal jack-in-the-boxes which are controlled with different switches. This requires 1-year-olds to press, twist and manipulate the switches in order to get the animal friends to pop up. Using their hands and fingers in this way not only increases their understanding of cause and effect but also strengthens and improves the flexibility in the fingers, hands and wrists, thereby improving fine motor skills.
With no batteries required this is a toy that will last and last, it also gives children the opportunity to learn different animals, shapes, colors and numbers and build their vocabulary related to this.
The Fisher-Price Bounce and Spin Puppy is a ride on toy, which is a modern take on a rocking horse. It’s likely to be an instant hit with an energetic 1-year-old boy and will give him hours of fun. The Bounce and Spin Puppy bounces up and down as well as spinning 360 degrees, helping to develop strength in the core and legs. Strengthening the legs is especially important for walking and core strength helps to improve balance.
As children bounce and spin, they are rewarded with lights, sounds and music, stimulating their auditory and visual senses, making this a great all-round sensory experience and an ideal gift for a 1-year-old.
Ride-on toys are fantastic gifts for promoting 1-year-olds’ physical skills as they give them the opportunity to engage their core and develop balance, coordination and control whilst strengthening those core muscles. As children become more confident, they may begin to try and propel themselves forward by pushing with their legs which builds up strength and control too.
The Scramblebug Hornet is a stable ride-on toy made with durable materials. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and has the bonus of being easy to fold and store away too.
1-year-old boys love to receive gifts and explore different play opportunities. Their natural energy, curiosity and interest means that they are keen to interact with the world around them and try out all sorts of different play. This natural disposition is great for their development because it means that 1-year-old boys often seek out new experiences and are willing to just ‘have a go’.
The toys and gifts presented in this list are varied enough to give you a real range of options to choose from, but all have great benefits to children’s learning so whichever you select to give to the 1-year-old boy that you’re thinking of it should be well received by both child and parents!